Hands Signals to know when scuba diving

Ask any diver what they enjoy about scuba diving. Most will describe the absolute peace and tranquility of being at depth. Some will discuss the intense pleasure of not having to speak to anyone. So… how do you communicate with your buddies, dive master and other divers during a dive? Hand signals are the most common form of underwater communication. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones to know. 

OK / Are you okay?

I'm okay, are you okay?
Are you okay? It's a question and an answer when it comes to scuba diving signals

The OK signal is the most important signal when it comes to diving. The ok is both a question and an answer. Join the thumb and index fingers while extending your third, fourth and fifth finger. The thumbs up signal indicates to go upwards or the end of a dive. 

There's a problem

I have a problem.
There's a problem and point to where the problem is.

Have your palm flat and slowly move your hand from side to side, followed by where the problem is. Whether it's equalizing, your weight belt or something else, pointing out where the problem is will help your dive master, instructor or buddy to know what the issue is.

OK and problem at the surface 

An OK at the surface is done by joining your hands above your head and can be used to signal the boat or lookout that you’re doing OK. This can also be done using one hand depending how far you are from the boat or shore. A problem at the surface is signaled by waving both hands and yelling ‘help.’ 

Thumbs up or down 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thumbs up can signal to ascend or the end of a dive. When you see this signal, you should also signal thumbs up to show that you’ve understood it’s time to ascend. A thumbs down is used to signal that the diver should descend.

Look at me or look over there

A scuba instructor will point at their eyes then at themselves to show students that they should look at what they’re about to demonstrate. A dive master during a fun dive may point at their eyes then in a direction to show that people should look in that direction. 

Level off or stay at my level 

Used to tell other divers to maintain their depth. It’s commonly used when you’ve reached your planned maximum depth or to tell divers to hold their depth for safety reasons. Extend your palm and move it slowly from side to side horizontally. 

Buddy up 

If you’re too far from your buddy, you may be asked to buddy up. This is done by using both index fingers and placing them close together. 

Safety stop

A three minute safety stop at five meters is demonstrated by a flat open hand with your other hand below it indicating three. This means that divers should level off and start their safety stop. 

Decompression

The deco signal can be done by either raising a pinky or raising a pinky and thumb. This signal is used in the event that a diver has passed their no-decompression limit and to communicate the need for an extra safety stop. 

 Low on air

Once you’ve reached 50 bar or go into the red on your gauge, you should signal to all other divers that you are low on air. This is done by placing a fist in front of your chest. 

Out of air 

In the unlikely event that you run out of air during a dive and other buddies are close by. You can signal you have run out of air by moving a flat hand across your throat which indicates your air supply has been cut off. Your buddy should then give you their alternate and you can start to ascend. 

How much air do you have? 

Your dive master and buddies may ask you how much air you have during a dive so you can adjust your dive depending on how much air the group has left. This is done by placing your index and middle finger into the palm of your other hand and tapping. To signal half a tank, form a time-out with your hands, 50 bar is done with a closed fist. Each additional 10 bar is indicated with the fingers on your other hand. 

Stop/hold 

You may be asked to stop or hold a position. To indicate this, hold a flat hand pointing forward or hold your forearm up and make a closed fist. 

Come here 

An open hand and moving your fingers towards yourself in a beckoning motion is used to signal to other divers to come here. 

Now we've taken a look at some of the most popular underwater hand signals. What's your favourite one to use during a dive?


Refresh or ReActivate your Scuba Diving Skills with Aura Divers

Has it been a while since you’ve been diving? Want to get back in the water but don’t know where to start?

 

Diver giving the all ok

PADI offers two different courses to help you refresh your scuba diving knowledge and skills: the PADI ReActivate Course and the PADI Refresher Course. The PADI ReActivate Course is a course for certified divers that want to refresh all the diving skills they learn during the Open Water Course. The course consists of online theory, confined water session and an optional open water session. The Refresher Course can be done in a few hours and before open water dives. It consists of a quiz and practicing in-water skills.

To do a Refresher or ReActivate course, you need to have an entry level certification from any organization. Whether to do a PADI Refresher or ReActive Course depends on how long you’ve been out of the water and your certification level. It’s recommended to do a PADI Refresher if you’ve been out of the water for longer than a year. If it’s been longer than 2 years’, the PADI ReActivate Course is the way to go. If you haven’t been diving since your initial course, it may be better to consider the PADI ReActivate Course. Both of these courses are useful for people that are a bit apprehensive about scuba diving.

PADI ReActivate

The PADI ReActivate Course is part eLearning where you can watch videos on how to perform the necessary diving skills.  It helps you relearn dive theory. If you have any questions, write them down and make sure to ask your dive instructor when you see them. You’ll go over the content from your initial course like: dive planning, equipment assembly and safe diving practices. With your instructor, you can do an in-water session in a pool or confined open water. During the in-water session, you’ll go over ALL the skills from your Open Water Course.

 

Divers during their Refresher

PADI Refresher

In comparison, A PADI Refresher Course is slightly different. It goes over basic diving practices, including alternative air source use, how to clear a mask, setting up and disassembling dive gear, and how to recover your regulator. At the start, complete a quiz which you’ll go over with your dive instructor which covers dive theory and safety practices. There is no eLearning as part of this course.

 

 

At Aura Divers, we offer both Refresher and ReActivate Courses. Give us a call to discuss which is the best for you!


A whale shark swimming close to the surface

5 types of sharks you can dive with in Oman

5 types of sharks you can dive with in Oman 

Diving with sharks is an amazing experience. Most sharks are scared of humans and will swim away as soon as they see us. You can spot up to 10 species of sharks around Oman but let’s take a look at some of the most popular: 

 

blacktip sharks in Oman
Diving with blacktip reef sharks in Oman

Blacktip Reef Shark

The blacktip reef shark is a very skittish shark which poses no threat to humans. They can range from 1 to 3 meters in length. One of the most popular sharks to see while diving in Oman, you can find them at Seahorse Bay in Bandar Khayran and throughout the dive sites at Daymaniyat Islands

 

 

Whitetip reef shark while diving in Oman
A whitetip reef shark swimming

Whitetip Reef Shark

The whitetip reef shark is the most common shark to be found around the Arabian Gulf. You can usually spot them resting in caves. These sharks hunt at night so during the day, it's easy to find them resting in dark places. Average length is roughly 1.25 meters. 

 

 

Leopard shark at Daymaniyat Islands
A zebra shark at Daymaniyat Islands

Zebra Shark

Zebra sharks, otherwise known as Leopard sharks, live at Daymaniyat Islands. They are truly beautiful, with a long slender body, and an equally long tail. You can find them while resting on a sandy bottom. Leopard sharks eat clams, fish eggs, and shrimp and pose no threat to humans. 

 

 

A whale shark swimming close to the surface
Whale sharks in Oman

Whale Shark

Whale sharks are actually not whales at all and are actually a type of filter-feeder shark. From July to September, it’s common to find whale sharks at Daymaniyat Islands and Al Fahal Island. You can spot them while diving and snorkeling as they use their mouths to filter plankton from the water and remain close to the surface. 

 

Oman Bullhead Shark

The Oman Bullhead Shark lives around the central coast of Oman and Pakistan. The average length is 56cm. The chance of seeing an Oman Bullhead Shark while diving is very rare, but some divers have reported spotting these majestic sharks during a dive. Sadly, they caught as bycatch by fisherman and as a result, their population is significantly declining. 

 

Seeing a shark during a dive is an exhilarating experience for even the most accomplished diver. So what are you waiting for? Book your dives today


Whale shark oman, swimming with whalesharks, whaleshark season oman, scuba diving, whale shark

When is Whale Shark Season in Oman?

When can i see Whale Shark in Oman?

It’s time to start thinking about your next holiday escape during one of Oman’s most thrilling seasons for adventure seekers, scuba divers, and water lovers:

Whale Shark season in Oman!

Whale sharks are unquestionably the most powerful fish in the ocean, with the largest reaching 12 meters in length and weighing up to 20 tons. (This implies they’re not just the world’s largest fish, but also the world’s largest vertebrates, with the exception of great whales.) Despite their enormous size, whale sharks are perfectly harmless to humans; they are filter feeders, and sieve small plankton from the water.

 

Whale shark oman, swimming with whalesharks, whaleshark season oman, scuba diving, whale shark
Whale shark oman, swimming with whalesharks, whaleshark season oman, scuba diving, whale shark

Where can I see Whale sharks in Oman

Daymaniyat Islands is one of the best spots in Oman for whale shark snorkeling and diving.

That’s because the gigantic fish congregate in large numbers along Muscats coastline every summer Whaleshark season is between September to November.

The sharks and their pups migrate south to the warmer waters of the southern hemisphere in search of many fish eggs, shrimp, copepods, and other little morsels. During this period, there is a very good chance of an encounter.

 

Swimming and snorkeling with Whale sharks

Whale shark oman, swimming with whalesharks, whaleshark season oman, scuba diving, whale shark
Whale shark oman, swimming with whalesharks, whaleshark season oman, scuba diving, whale shark

The Daymaniyat Islands and Al Fahal Island:

are two of the most well-known places in Oman for seeing the gentle giants up close. At Aura Divers, we provide you with an opportunity to get closeup and swim amongst the Whale sharks , which is as close to a miraculous experience as you can get in the ocean. Whale sharks are awe-inspiring creatures, not just because of their size, but also because of their elegance and beauty: with their wedge-shaped heads, muscular tails, and exquisite markings, they’re truly magnificent creatures.

 

 

learn to dive, dive instructor, Whaleshark scuba dive daymaniyat island, best dive centre oman, best dive boat, muscat, best dive sites
learn to dive, dive instructor, Whaleshark scuba dive daymaniyat island, best dive centre oman, muscat, best dive sites

Our boat dock at Al Mouj Marina makes it a great starting point for the whale-shark excursion because of its proximity to the Daymaniyat Islands. Spend the day communing with these magnificent fish, then reflect on your adventure in in one of the Marinas many restaurants and walkways Book a whale shark trip with us for the summer fun—we’ll take care of the rest.


    close-up macro photography of mantis shrimp taken while diving in Oman

    Macro Diving in Muscat Oman

    Number of dive sites: 25
    Boat ride: 15 minutes
    Good for: All level divers, Macro photography lovers

    Did you know that there are great dive sites for macro diving in Oman?

    A trip to Bander Khayran in Muscat is where you should go if you want world-class diving with warm water, dense live coral reefs, many macro organisms, and a diverse range of megafauna, as well as uncrowded dive sites.

    Coral reefs

    Bander Khayran is one of Oman's must-see treasures, with over 25 diving spots featuring stunning rock formations, cliffs, and reefs teeming with vibrant corals and tropical fish With essential features like staghorn, orange cup, cabbage, and whip coral, this is a fantastic environment for macro photographers. The majority of the rock falls are surrounded by colorful soft corals and sponges, as well as enormous gorgonians that aren't seen on any other Muscat island.

    What can you see

    We are lucky to have warm waters free of currents majority of the year, this coupled with our nearshore reefs—many within swimming distance of the beach or a 15 minute boat ride from our dive centre these top dive sites are perfect for offering macro seekers ideal conditions and ample time to go on a hunt.

    Moray eels, shrimp, crabs, nudibranchs, pipefish, lobster, scorpionfish, lionfish, octopus, squid, and cuttlefish can all be found in between the rocks and crevices.

    Fish fish and more fish!

    And let not forget all the other exciting marine life to to swim alongside. Snapper, batfish, jacks, and barracuda may all be found during your dive, in addition to schooling fusiliers. Oman is home to six turtle species, eagle, mobula, and manta rays, as well as reef, guitar, leopard, and the occasional whale sharks, are among the megafauna highlights, which are topped off by dolphins and pilot whales, and a few fascinating wrecks.

    Go the the right places

    It's all about location when it comes to macro diving in Oman, and we've got you covered. Contact us now for more information and to book a trip with us.

    macro photography of shrimp taken while diving in Oman
    macro photography of nudi nudibranch taken while diving in Oman
    macro photography of shrimp taken while diving in Oman pink white
    close-up macro photography of coral taken while diving in Oman
    macro photography of stargazer fish taken while diving in Oman nightdive
    close-up macro photography of coral polyp taken while diving in Oman
    macro photography of shrimp taken while diving in Oman yellow black white bumps
    macro photography of crab inside shell hermit crab taken while diving in Oman white shell red crab

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